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Card of the Week – Withering Boon

There are five colours in Magic, and each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. They also have certain aspects of the game that they are the strongest in. For example, Green is the colour of ramp, and Blue is the colour of counterspells. Or is it?

Withering Boon is fast becoming a pet card of mine because the only thing your opponent expects less than a hard counterspell in black is the Spanish Inquisition. Which is what makes it the card of the week.

Mirage printing 
As an additional cost to cast this spell, pay 3 life.
Counter target creature spell.
Nobody will see it coming

Withering Boon is an Interrupt for 1B and 3 life that counters a summon spell. Back in 1996 when it received its only printing to date this made sense. However, it has since received an errata and the oracle text can be found here on Gatherer. It is now an Instant that counters a creature spell, essentially it is a black Essence Scatter.

Counterspells are always worth running as they allow you to deal with a problematic card before it even hits the battlefield. You can spend 2 mana to counter a spell that cost your opponent any amount of mana. Paying 3 life is hardly a downside, life is a resource and you start with 40 of it in commander.

The downside of the Spanish Inquisition… I mean Withering Boon is that it can only counter creature spells. In commander this is less of an issue as at least one deck at the table will be running creatures. Additionally the the vast majority of decks run a creature as the commander.

Withering Boon is a highly flexible card that can go in almost any deck that is running black and not running blue. It is worth running if for no other reason than the look on your opponent’s face because no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

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Card of the Week – Insight

Commander is a game of resource management, and to gain an advantage you need more resources. Notably this includes card draw. As the more cards you are drawing the more likely you are to hit a land drop, find a creature or an answer. This week’s card of the week is Insight.

Tempest printing of Insight
Who doesn’t like drawing cards?

Insight has been updated to read “Whenever an opponent casts a green spell, you draw a card.”. Full information can be found on gatherer.

Insight in an Enchantment for 2U that draws you a card whenever can opponent casts a Green spell. The major downside is that it only triggers on Green spells which is only 1/5th of the colour pie, without counting colourless spells. However, Green is a very common colour in commander featuring in 8/10 of the current 10 most popular commanders. This means it is highly likely that there will be at least one opponent running Green at the table.

A draw engine is a card or cards that will allow you to draw cards over multiple turns. This means that the longer Insight is on the battlefield the more value it will generate for you. In addition your opponents cannot pay additional mana to deny your draw.

Insight is at its most effective in the early game when decks are looking to ramp, which is a predominantly done through Green spells. However, it can be just as effective in the mid to late game especially if there is a Green deck. It would be a solid addition to any deck that runs Blue, and wants to draw cards.